Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Reflections by Eleanor Smythe
Release Date: 1st December 2015
Genres: Contemporary Fiction

Sally must deal with the grief of losing her father, a man she knew very little about. After the funeral she takes time out to be alone and reflect on her life. 

To find out the truth about him, she first has to make amends with her estranged mother and half-sisters, who she hasn’t spoken to for almost twenty years. 

In the meantime, Mr Leriche from Interpol opens a fascinating old case file, about a stolen painting potentially worth millions. Before long Sally finds herself in the middle of a criminal investigation. Having discovered she is the sole beneficiary to her father’s estate, she must decide whether to develop the business or walk away. 

Reflections is an emotional journey.

Reflections tells the story of a very lost and lonely spirit. Sally is the type of woman who has had much heartbreak in her life and for too long has hidden away her pain. Now, Sally must face that pain head on and tackle the feelings from both the past and the present. There are too many unanswered questions in her life and she needs, for her own piece of mind and broken heart, to find out the truth about her childhood and why she was sent to live with her aunt Kitty. Why did her mother not want her but yet her sisters remained living at home? Who was her father? Why did Sally's husband treat her the way he had? Why had she let him?

Throughout the course of the story, the timeline shifts from present to past, exploring Sally's difficult childhood and her confusion around the living arrangements. I really enjoyed the story despite sometimes getting confused with the shift in timelines. It was sometimes difficult to keep track with 'when' Sally was in the book. As an adult, Sally cuts all contact off from her mother and sisters and its only when her life is turned upside down in Portugal does Sally finally summon up the courage, with the love and support of her children, to make amends with her lost family and apologise for her own mistakes and her own behaviour. Sally sets out to find out the truth and finally meet her father. But, life can be cruel and their reunion is short lived. Sally finds out more than she could have bargained for about herself, her family and her father and she must find a way to deal with the fallout and the overwhelming feeling that her life is on a rollercoaster and she can't get off.

This was quite a sad story I felt. Sally is such a lonely and confused person and I felt so sorry for her. She is fighting many demons and it takes a lot of courage to admit that she made a few errors of judgement along the way. Her desire to be a part of something, of finding out who she really was is almost heartbreaking. Her sense of who she is is completely displaced and her life is in limbo. I could sympathise completely with her desire to find out where she came from and often reading the book was like reading about my own life. I liked Sally although I thought she could be a little bit of a grump at times but who could blame her! I would have liked to have seen Mr Leriche feature more in the beginning of the story but I did love the mystery of the painting! Sometimes the writing did get a little bogged down in the descriptive of every day tasks but overall I really enjoyed Sally's story and the final outcome for her. An enjoyable read. 

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Eleanor Smythe was born in the east end of London but struggles to call it home as she moved away in her teens, and continued to live in various parts of the UK. After raising four sons, she went on to obtain a degree in Occupational Therapy. Although she took the opportunity to work in various medical settings, her greatest passion was working with clients within the community, where she claims real life takes place. 
Now retired and living primarily in Portugal Eleanor has more time to pursue her love of writing. Always intrigued by the way in which individuals cope with life's challenges and how they overcome the twists and turns of life, her stories embrace inner emotional turmoil that her characters might feel. They are brought to life by showing humour, tragedy, conflict, betrayal and emotions that many of us face daily. 
Her debut book, The Other Side of Town continues to receive positive reviews while her second book, Reflections, was recently released. 
Eleanor and her husband’s love of travel has led to the recent acquisition of ‘Dolly the Camper Van’. Dolly will enable them to pursue their individual hobbies of fishing and writing in new and exciting environments. Eleanor will be blogging about their adventures as well as inviting others to share their own.

One Response so far.

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review of Reflections. I always find reviews fascinating and smile at the way in which different people will read into the characters, slightly differently depending on their own perception.

    Sally hit midlife crisis big time and I'm so happy that her character came through as such. Hopefully she will have afresh start to her new life and begin to shine again.

    I will have to watch out not to over do the descriptions of mundane stuff and will work on keeping thing clear. BIG HUGS and thank you for the feed back, I so need that if I am to improve my writing xx

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